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Cornish & Carey Predicting a Flat 2008

February 22, 2008

Cornish and Carey held its annual forecast in Santa Clara this week. Along the lines of what I’ve been writing about, they are predicting rental rates to be static for 2008 for office and R&D, and vacancy rates to remain in a similar state.

The fact is that there is a large amount of new space coming online in 2008. In addition, there remains a fair amount of space available outside of Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Shoreline, and Cupertino submarkets. All of these submarkets will see new buildings come online this year, though no tremendously large projects are slated to dramatically change the landscape. In Sunnyvale however, Menlo Equities, Jay Paul, Sand Hill Property/RREEF JV, and a few smaller projects are bringing online more than 1.5M square feet of space this year alone. That is enough for 7500 employees in a time when most people now see that job growth will also be static if not recessionary this year.

As a result, we believe a portion of the price increases in the past 12-30 months we’ve seen in some of the softer markets outside those indicated above have been in large part a combination of broker hype and new owners paying dear prices for commercial property and being essentially forced to raise rents to make their deals pencil.

I think that while we may not see landlords drop asking rents immediately, smart landlords see the writing on the walls and we’ll see some get more aggressive in making deals.

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